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Elite-level Professional Tennis

Volume 657: debated on Wednesday 27 March 2019

7. What information his Department holds on the amount of elite-level professional tennis that will be played in Scotland in 2019. (909978)

I know that you, Mr Speaker, take a particular interest in this question.

Although my office does not routinely hold information on this matter, I acknowledge the great opportunity to build on the continuing legacy of Andy and Jamie Murray to develop tennis throughout Scotland.

If Scottish Office Ministers invested in access to the internet, they would discover that there are no elite-level events in Scotland, which is why many people feel that the Lawn Tennis Association is failing to take the opportunity to build on the legacy of Andy Murray’s success. Will the Secretary of State meet representatives of the LTA and the Scottish Government to see what more can be done to ensure that this huge opportunity is not missed once and for all?

I should be happy to give that undertaking. Perhaps you will join us, Mr Speaker, given your passion for tennis and your attendance at major events in Scotland.

I entirely agree with the Secretary of State. We all commend the heroic successes of Andy and Jamie Murray and want to build on them this year and beyond. I think that we should also acknowledge and salute the extraordinary efforts of Judy Murray, one of the greatest women in the world of tennis.

Of course Scotland’s reputation in elite tennis extends beyond the Murray brothers to the likes of Gordon Reid, Jonny O’Mara and the late and much missed Elena Baltacha. Will my right hon. Friend join me in calling on the Lawn Tennis Association to provide the money that will enable Tennis Scotland to take advantage of this golden opportunity to ensure that children, no matter where they live in Scotland, can take part in and enjoy the benefits of tennis?

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend, and I will do that. Perhaps he would like to join me, along with the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Toby Perkins) and you, Mr Speaker, at the meeting with the LTA and other interested parties.